Bengaluru-based gourmet meat startup Licious is reportedly in talks with Singapore-based Vertex Ventures and its parent company, Delightful Gourmet, in order to raise $25 Mn to $30 Mn as a part of its Series D funding round.
According to a report in ET, Vertex Ventures, which is the venture capital arm of the Singapore government-backed Temasek, will likely invest in the company from its $290 Mn Vertex Growth Fund. The company announced the final close of the fund in September 2019 and it will focus on later stages of startups.
The deal is all set to get finalised this month. It is expected that the investment will almost double the company’s valuation from the current $150 Mn to $250-$300 Mn.
Licious spokesperson, when contacted by Inc42, declined to comment on the “speculations”.
In December 2018, Licious had raised $25 Mn in the same Series D round led by Japan-based Nichirei Corp. Other investors also included 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, UCLA investment company, and Sistema Asia Fund.
The Bengaluru-based startup also raised $25 Mn in Series C round, which closed in September 2018, to expand into new cities, add more products and strengthen its supply chain. The round was led by Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, and UCLA.
Founded in 2015 by Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta, Licious functions on the farm to fork business model, meaning that the company owns the entire back-end supply chain. This also included stringent cold chain control, which helps it to maintain the quality and freshness of each product from initial stages — procurement, processing, storage — till the time it reaches the customers.
In the fresh meat category, Licious specialises in chicken breast, chicken drumsticks, goat keema and lamb chops, among others. Besides this, the company also offers a range of fish and seafood products, which include basa fillet, mackerel, sardines and prawns, etc. Licious also deals in exotic meat varieties like turkey, blue crab, quail and Atlantic salmon.
Last year, Licious also received a certification of FSSC22000, which is one of the highest food safety certifications in the world. With this, the company also expanded its catalogue to include value-added products to its fresh meat and seafood portfolio with spreads, marinades and pickles.
Licious, currently, serves in seven cities including Delhi, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai. It plans to expand its services to more cities.